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Current Catalysis


ISSN (Print): 2211-5447
ISSN (Online): 2211-5455

Review Article

Catalytic Processes For Lignin Valorization into Fuels and Chemicals (Aromatics)

Author(s): Maria Ventura, Marcelo E. Domine* and Marvin Chávez-Sifontes

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2019

Page: [20 - 40] Pages: 21

DOI: 10.2174/2211544708666190124112830

open access plus


Valorization of lignocellulosic biomass becomes a sustainable alternative against the constant depletion and environmental problems of fossil sources necessary for the production of chemicals and fuels. In this context, a wide range of renewable raw materials can be obtained from lignocellulosic biomass in both polymeric (i.e. cellulose, starch, lignin) and monomeric (i.e. sugars, polyols, phenols) forms. Lignin and its derivatives are interesting platform chemicals for industry, although mainly due to its refractory characteristics its use has been less considered compared to other biomass fractions. To take advantage of the potentialities of lignin, it is necessary to isolate it from the cellulose/ hemicellulosic fraction, and then apply depolymerization processes; the overcoming of technical limitations being a current issue of growing interest for many research groups. In this review, significant data related to the structural characteristics of different types of commercial lignins are presented, also including extraction and isolation processes from biomass, and industrial feedstocks obtained as residues from paper industry under different treatments. The review mainly focuses on the different depolymerization processes (hydrolysis, hydrogenolysis, hydrodeoxygenation, pyrolysis) up to now developed and investigated analyzing the different hydrocarbons and aromatic derivatives obtained in each case, as well as the interesting reactions some of them may undergo. Special emphasis is done on the development of new catalysts and catalytic processes for the efficient production of fuels and chemicals from lignin. The possibilities of applications for lignin and its derivatives in new industrial processes and their integration into the biorefinery of the future are also assessed.

Keywords: Lignin valorization, lignin depolymerisation, biomass derivatives, catalytic processes, aromatics compounds, platform chemicals.

Graphical Abstract
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